I received a new review for my 2018 novel, Jerry Haywire, from MJ Evans via Amazon. You should probably buy it HERE.
The book is based on real events (I ran a sports agency for more than ten years) and it is a rip-roaring ride.
She recognized the great character development (it is a psychological novel), the humor and the satire. She recognized that it is ‘well-written.’
But there was too much sex(!), she claimed without evidence:
It’s a long novel (one of my longest) and off the top of my head I think there were four sex scenes, maybe five – admittedly they were very descriptive and it’s probably fair to call them explicit. It’s possible that the one with the grasshopper (Paul McCartney) crossed a few lines. And the rape scene in the opening chapter is graphic, but the trauma was important to the story line and stuff like that really happens:
So, I’m not saying that MJ’s claim is entirely without merit. Some of my books include sex, even lots of it. Some don’t have any at all. It really just depends on the story; I don’t view any of it as gratuitous.
Anyhow, I don’t worry much about reviews (and I’m not picking on MJ who seemed to like the book overall) but if I had the choice between readers enjoying my books or not I would prefer the former. Maybe there is too much sex in the book and maybe there is just enough… but that is all water under the bridge since it was published a few years ago and it ain’t gonna change.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter called BEDBUG INFESTATION. MJ mentioned the Bedbug in her review so I thought I would post an excerpt. Even pasting this in I had a good laugh; the Bedbug is a hilarious character (and remember, the story is based on real events):
In many ways, Carlton Duffer was similar to a bedbug. This similarity, though, wasn’t exactly the same type of similarity as existed between Paul McCartney and a grasshopper. In Carlton’s case, his similarity was less physical than McCartney’s. Carlton’s similarity to the bedbug was almost purely behavioral. The behavioral similarity was simply this: once Carlton had infested Lacy’s life, some years before, he was very hard to get rid of, just like a bedbug.
Now, Lacy hadn’t tried to get rid of Carlton herself — it was Lacy’s family that wanted him gone. They simply didn’t like him. They tried to run him off, to chase him out. To squish him. They hated Carlton Duffer! They schemed, in so many ways, to get rid of the Bedbug.
One time Lacy’s uncle told him that he and a few of Lacy’s other uncles were playing golf at Windy Forest Golf Club when they were really playing at Pointed Hills. The foursome had laughed the whole time they played and screened fifteen phone calls from Carlton when he was desperately trying to find the group. Another example, her family would take Lacy aside and point out his personal flaws and his lack of character. The family did everything short of trying actual violence or poison. But there was a significant problem. Bedbugs are incredibly robust. Once a Bedbug infestation sets in, it’s really hard to root them out. The Bedbug, Carlton Duffer, like his little brothers and sisters, was a survivor.
But his survival, marriage-wise, was most certainly not guaranteed this time. Not at all. Carlton had to work his way out of this trap!
“Carlllll-tooooonnnnnn!” Lacy screamed as she burst in the room using a key that she had lifted off of a housekeeping cart. Her face was bright red.
Carlton Duffer just lay there with his bottom lip crooking out at a twenty-seven degree angle. He was caught. He couldn’t move. After a minute, the Bedbug got dressed and Lacy walked him back to the car.
“How did you find me?” asked the Bedbug.
“Someone called me,” said Lacy.
“Who?” asked Carlton Duffer.
“I don’t know. Maybe someone from the Beach Comber. Why does it matter? Why would you do that to me?” she asked him, point blank. Her bottom lip quivered, even though it didn’t crook, since she was about to cry. She tried to keep it locked in. She stared at his crooked lip, which she often mistook for a look of sophistication and thoughtfulness.
“Baby, I was drunk. I don’t know what I was thinking,” replied Carlton Duffer with an exaggerated grimace. His crooked bottom lip flared out quite a bit more than usual, the flare was about thirty-eight degrees. He then crooked it more for extra effect – extra sophistication — and now it hit forty-four degrees. He shook his head slowly, pretending he was in a sad scene in a movie.
“Do I not satisfy you? Is that woman better in bed than I am?” Lacy asked, pleading.
When Lacy had retrieved him out of the bed there had been a brunette, named Summer, approximately five-foot-six and one hundred twenty-three pounds, sprawled out naked in the hotel bed. Summer’s face was looking very satisfied at the moment. Her ripened, split apricot had, from the look of things, been worked over in just the right way by Carlton Duffer. Clothing and bedding was strewn all over the room! Summer didn’t even stir when Lacy walked in the room, she just lay there looking relaxed.
“Of course you satisfy me, I love you more than anything. I love you, I love you,” Carlton said, making puppy dog eyes as he responded. He looked down, then up, softly. He was trying to push her buttons!
“Then why did you sleep with that yoga instructor? Why would you sleep with that bitch? Why?” Lacy asked. She was still pleading with him, begging to understand.
“I was drunk and I made a mistake. I just kept making mistakes. It was so wrong!” said Carlton. It was so right, said Carlton’s face. It was so right!
Lacy said nothing. So, Carlton continued, “I was drunk and I couldn’t stop myself. I need to quit drinking. It wasn’t me, it was the alcohol,” Carlton said, desperate to find a way out of this trap.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe you did that,” said Lacy with a tear streaming down her face. Then another. She was crying. She started crying even harder.
“Baby, I love you so much. I love you more than the sun and the moon. You are like the stars and the ocean. Like a dove. Like a whisper willow,” he said, using the most sincere voice he could muster up for the occasion. His face looked like he was searching his mind for more random comparisons. His lip was crooked. But he didn’t mention any more, apparently that was the kitchen sink and it would have to do!
“Awwww, thank you baby. Am I really like the stars?” Her eyes looked dreamy as she responded. It didn’t even occur to her that she didn’t know what a whisper willow was.
“I love you baby, I don’t know why I did what I did. I want to be with you. I am going to stop drinking. I am going to stop hitting the Dragon and the Moose,” said Carlton.
The survival instinct of the Bedbug was kicking in with full force. His face showed that he sensed an opening. He looked determined to burrow his way back in.
“How can I believe you?” Lacy asked. Carlton could probably tell, from past experience, that she was ready to take the bait, but she still needed to be sold.
“I’m going to go to rehab!” proclaimed the Bedbug.